Temecula Mayor James “Stew” Steward resigned Thursday night amid backlash over an email he wrote about police killings that went viral.

On Tuesday, a resident requested data concerning Steward’s plans to finish police violence and racial policing locally, stating, “This subject is essential to me and my household.”

Steward’s email response was posted on-line, sparking controversy amongst residents. The 11:02 p.m. reply acknowledged: “I don’t imagine any good individual of colour has been killed by police.” He went on to say that he had a number of African American buddies, which sparked outrage on social media.

Steward publicly responded to the backlash his email generated, stating the message was despatched over voice-text and that he didn’t proofread what was recorded. As a outcome, he stated his phrases have been taken out of context and that he meant that no good individual of colour was murdered by police in Temecula or Riverside County. He additionally reaffirmed he didn’t tolerate racism and requested for forgiveness, which garnered blended outcomes on-line.

Critics have been fast to answer his apology, citing the 1998 demise of Tyisha Miller, a 19-year-old black girl who was killed by police as she sat in her automotive at a Riverside gasoline station.

Hannah de la Cruz, a 33-year-old resident, referred to as Stewart’s response to the email passive and disrespectful.

“After all of the occasions which have transpired, the phrases our elected officers use are much more essential,” de la Cruz stated. “I do agree with him resigning. It’s the very least he owes us.”

Some residents — like Jennifer Evans, a 39-year-old authorized assistant who has lived within the metropolis for 2 years — have been dissatisfied in Steward’s resignation.

“Not solely are we shedding a mayor that has confirmed he loves his group, however our protected haven has grow to be polarized as a result of these occasions,” Evans stated.

Kevin Willis, a 35-year-old resident and president of Veterans Advocacy Associates, stated Steward is an instance of a “good, community-oriented citizen.” Willis stated he believed the scenario was blown out of proportion.

“To not low cost the true uncooked feelings that we’re experiencing in society in the mean time, we should be cautious to not let the people who find themselves attempting to raised society get rounded up with the unhealthy actors who’re the true downside,” Willis stated.

Steward stated he was damage by residents who have no idea him personally labeling him as racist.

“It was extremely horrible timing, however on the identical time, I want to guard town too,” he stated in an interview. “With the huge protest [on Friday], this might trigger town rather more hurt and focus on town that doesn’t belong there, so I figured I’d simply resign.”

Steward took to Fb, one among his major types of communication with residents, to announce his resignation and apologize for his “off-the-cuff response to an email on a severe matter.” Steward was elected to the Metropolis Council in 2016 and started serving as mayor this 12 months.

“My complete aim was to deliver the council to the folks. I used to be all the time on Fb, all the time speaking with the residents about what was occurring — the nice, the unhealthy and the detached,” he stated.

Councilman Matt Rahn stated his time working with Steward was comparatively constructive and Steward’s presence helped the council attain equitable choices. Nevertheless, Rahn stated he was “very essential” of what he referred to as Steward’s informal language and magnificence of taking pictures from the hip on consequential points throughout his time as mayor.

“Metropolis enterprise shouldn’t be carried out on social media. That’s why now we have metropolis conferences,” Rahn stated. “Being a mayor or any elected official calls for a stage of care that lets folks know they’re being heard.”

Rahn stated Steward’s feedback within the viral email didn’t replicate the ideas of town or the Metropolis Council.

“It was unacceptable, and albeit our metropolis deserves higher,” Rahn stated.

Mayor Professional Tem Maryann Edwards stated in a assertion: “Stew is a hard-working and trustworthy man. Temecula is poised to shut this chapter and proceed our long-term dedication to stopping racial injustice in any kind.”

Edwards will take on mayoral duties for the rest of 2020.